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The bloodiest battle at sea: The Battle of the Gullet on House of the Dragon Season 2

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otto hightower and corlys velaryon house of the dragon season 2 battle of the gullet
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In the universe of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, being the bloodiest battle is no small feat. House of the Dragon’s stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam recently teased that House of the Dragon season 2 is headed towards the battle at sea, which at this timeline points towards The Battle of the Gullet. Here’s how this will be one of the deadliest battles on screen that changes the course of history.

What caused The Battle of the Gullet?

Credit to Atlas of Ice and Fire blog

The Gullet was a strategic stronghold of the Blacks held by House Velaryon and its numerous fleets. It is a stretch of water between the Crownlands and Driftmark, and Dragonstone. You can not reach Blackwater Bay by sea without crossing the Gullet. Early on in the civil war, Prince Daemon Targaryen and the Blacks defeated the Greens and captured Harrenhal, the largest castle in the Seven Kingdoms. Soon after, the Blacks won again at The Battle of the Burning Mill and The Storming of Stone Hedge.

After facing blow after blow, Ser Otto Hightower of the Greens and Hand of the King to Aegon II Targaryen reached out to the Triarchy to attack Corlys Velaryon and his fleet. Across the narrow sea, the Triarchy were sour enemies of Prince Daemon after the War for the Stepstones that we see in Season 1. Their response was not quick, and Aegon II grew impatient and replaced Ser Otto with Ser Criston Cole as Hand. Finally, the High Council of the Triarchy accepted their offer. In exchange for ninety ships with men, the Triarchy would receive exclusive trading rights at King’s Landing and full control of the Stepstones.

Before the bloodshed could begin in earnest, Jacaerys Velaryon, the Black Queen Rhaenyra’s eldest son, decided to send his youngest brother Aegon III and Viserys to be fostered by the Prince of Pentos until Rhaenyra secures the Iron Throne. The young ones set sail on a Pentoshi vessel called the Gay Abandon with seven of Corlys Velaryon’s warships as escorts.

Read More: House of The Dragon Season 2: New pictures of sets from Spain and North Wales

The Battle

On their way to the Gullet, the Triarchy’s forces encountered the Gay Abandon. Taken captive, only Aegon III escaped while on his young dragon Stormborn. Little Viserys did not have a dragon of his own and was taken captive by a Tyroshi captain. Even though Stormborn was severely wounded by arrows and scorpion bolts, he ensured his rider reached Dragonstone safely, and then he perished. This helped the prince deliver the news of the threat in the nick of time.

The Triarchy’s Admiral Sharako Lohar of Lys divided his forces into two; one would enter the Gullet from the north of Dragonstone and the other from the south. The northern faction took on the Velaryon fleet at sunrise, completely unaware. Soon, Jacaerys Velaryon began his aerial attack on the Triarchy on his dragon Vermax. Unfortunately, the sailors had prior experience from dealing with Prince Daemon and Ceraxes on Stepstones and began directing arrows, cross bolts, and scorpion bolts at the young dragon and rider.

Soon, the Dragonseeds, Ulf the White on Silverwing, Hugh Hammer on Vermithor, Addam Velaryon on Seasmoke, and Nettles on Sheepstealer joined Jacaerys and lit up Triarchy’s forces. Seeing the battle turn against them at sea, the southern faction redirected their aim and attacked Driftmark, ravaging the House Velaryon, its harbor Spictown and its wealth.

It is unclear what the exact cause was, but Vermax flew too low and crashed into the sea. It could have been caused by a lethal injury, but survivors say he struggled in the rigging of a burning galley and sank with it. In an attempt to escape, Jacaerys leaped away from his dragon but was caught by Myrish crossbows and died at sea.

Read More: Everything you need to know about Dragonseeds on House of the Dragon

The Aftermath

ships

The Sea Snake lost 33% of his fleet, remarking, “If this be victory, I pray I never win another.” The Triarchy’s losses were so huge that they completely cut themselves off from this war. All considered Prince Viserys dead, and his older brother Aegon never overcame the pain of abandoning his brother. Spicetown was burnt and sacked and was never rebuilt again. The battle was neither a victory nor a failure for either side. The Blacks still held the Gullet but had lost two of their princes.

Out of ninety ships, only 28 returned home along with Admiral Sharako. The citizens were quick to notice that out of 28, only 3 ships were not Lyseni. The widows and kin of Myr and Tyrosh uproared against Sharako, accusing him of protecting his own people and letting the others be slaughtered. This caused a snowball effect which would later lead to the Daughter’s War leading to the collapse of the Triarchy. Sharako Lohar ended up disgraced and sold Prince Viserys to Bambarro Bazanne of Lys for his weight in gold.

The Greens failed to gain control over the Gullet and the western shore of Westeros while also losing their allies across the sea. Overall, it was a battle of huge losses but very little gains.

What can we expect on screen?

blackwater

While Game of Thrones did not have the budget for a full-blown Battle of the Blackwater, it is safe to assume we will see the Battle of the Gullet on screen. When the interviewer asks Irlam if they will have to resort to computer-generated water because the real thing would be prohibitively expensive, he replies,

“There are two words in there — “prohibitive” and “expensive” — and I don’t like the first word. The desire is to expand our repertoire to a large sea battle. You can do a sea battle in a car park, but it won’t necessarily feel the same. But there are water tanks, and there’s a tank here in Leavesden. If you’re going to do it, I think you need to do it in a tank. But let’s see what happens.”

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So viewers can expect the battle to play out in depth in real water with five dragons if they go exactly by the book. This will mark a record number of dragons in any episode, whether it be Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon. Needless to say, we are very excited for season 2, especially with all the tidbits of news and sneak peek at sets and locations!

Read Next: Locals in North Wales spot a new House of the Dragon set being erected at Trefor quarry

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